Where Are They Now? The Middlesbrough Side That Reached the UEFA Cup Final in 2006

12 May 2020 08:08

In what seems like some parallel universe, back in 2006 a Steve McClaren-led Middlesbrough side reached the UEFA Cup final.

Yes, kids, you read that correctly.

While Boro were absolutely annihilated 4-0 in the final against a rampant Sevilla side - featuring the likes of Dani Alves and Jesús Navas - it is remarkable that a side who have struggled for a consistent spell in the top flight in the years since managed to reach a European final.

Despite the horror show on the night, to their credit, McClaren's men had already beaten the likes of Basel and Stuttgart, as well as Italian giants Roma, en route to the final.

Since you've probably forgotten they were even in the final in the first place, it's probably best to have a peak at who was playing for Boro on the day.

The Starting XI

GK - Mark Schwarzer

The big Aussie would repeat his European exploits in 2010 as his Fulham side reached the Europa League final, although he would be on the losing side once again.

After leaving Fulham in 2013, he bizarrely joined Chelsea as second-choice keeper, with the club winning the title in his second season.

He then moved on again to Leicester in 2015, as he 'played' his part in the Foxes remarkable Premier League success - good luck charm.

RB - Stuart Parnaby

While not exactly one of the star names in this side, Parnaby played for the club for nine years across two different spells, before retiring in 2014 after a brief stint at Hartlepool United.

Since his playing days he has dabbled in the dugout, and was briefly assistant coach at non-league York City.

CB - Chris Riggott

The 2005/06 season was perhaps the highlight of his seven-year stay at the Riverside, most notably as he scored the third goal in the remarkable comeback victory over Steaua Bucharest in the semi-final, with Boro 3-0 down on aggregate.

The former England Under-21 international may have had the peak of his career in the final, as he ended his days playing for Burton Albion. He's most recently been coaching at youth-team level at Derby County.

CB - Gareth Southgate

The captain on the day and the man who would replace McClaren in the hot seat the following season, Southgate is an undoubted Premier League legend.

As of now, well, we all know where he is - hopefully leading England to glory.

LB - Franck Queudrue

The talented and versatile Frenchman was vital to that 2006 side, before leaving for Fulham that summer.

The full-back retired in 2013 in his native France, and now acts as a go-between for clubs and players.

RM - James Morrison

The recently retired midfielder may be better known for his long spell at West Brom, but it was at Middlesbrough that he began his career, after emerging from the youth team.

The Scotland international joined Albion in 2007, and became a permanent fixture of the side - and on the international scene - before bowing out in 2019.

CM - George Boateng

The talented midfielder was an essential part of the Boro setup for six seasons, and replaced Southgate as captain in 2006, who then proceeded to strip his captaincy in 2008.

The former Netherlands international retired in 2013, and is now a pundit, as well as the Under-18's coach at former club Aston Villa.

CM - Fabio Rochemback

Somehow the Brazilian former Barcelona man ended up on Teeside, but the Boro faithful certainly weren't complaining.

The club's number ten was the creative force in midfield, and crucial to their UEFA Cup run. In his post football life he has found himself in trouble for his involvement in cockfighting. Naughty Fabio.

LM - Stewart Downing

The fact that he is the first player on this list to still be playing is testament to his ability, in a career that has seen him play for the likes of Aston Villa, Liverpool and West Ham.

The tricky winger currently finds himself at Blackburn Rovers, hoping to aid his men in a push for promotion.

ST - Mark Viduka

The prolific Aussie enjoyed a brilliant spell in English football, including three years as the focal point of the Boro attack.

After joining Newcastle in 2007, the former Leeds man retired two years later and has taken a rather odd approach to retirement, as he reportedly owns a coffee shop in Zagreb.

ST - Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink